Tuesday, December 21, 2010
ANKARA — The Associated Press
Turkey on Tuesday criticized the recent signing of a maritime border accord between Greek Cyprus and Israel, saying it is "null and void" because it disregards the rights and jurisdiction of Turkish Cypriots.
The agreement was aimed at facilitating the search for mineral deposits in the east Mediterranean, where huge natural gas reserves have been discovered.
Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that Turkey has no claims on the areas subject to the agreement, but the "Turkish Cypriots have also rights and jurisdiction over the maritime areas of the island of Cyprus."
It says the Greek Cypriot government should not unilaterally sign international agreements without a solution to the division of the island.
The statement says countries in the region should not support moves "that would have a negative impact on the comprehensive settlement negotiations." Cyprus has been divided since 1974.